Post-hardcore, as the name might suggest, is a musical offshoot of the hardcore punk movement. The earliest appearances of the genre were in Washington, D.C. in the mid- to late-1980s (see the era's releases on Dischord Records, for example), though it was not widely known until the early 1990s. Post-hardcore, as a musical genre, is marked by its precise rhythms and loud guitar-based instrumentation accompanied by vocal performances that are as often sung as whispered or shouted. The genre has developed a unique balance of dissonance and melody, in part channeling the loud and fast hardcore ethos into more measured, subtle forms of tension and release. It shares with its hardcore roots an intensity and social awareness as well as a DIY punk ethic, yet eschews much of the unfocused rage and loose, sometimes amatuerish musicianship of punk rock.
Side note: Everyone bitches about My Chemical Romance being 'emo' but MCR fits more into the Post-Hardcore catogory than anything.
Some cool post-hardcore bands are: Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, Moss Icon and Jimmy Eat World
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